September 26, 2018

Cali making her mark at FSU

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(Tallahassee, FL) — Former Lady Brave star softball player Cali Harrod is adjusting nicely to college softball life at Florida State University where she quickly earned the starting shortstop job in her freshman season.

Cali and the Seminoles are beyond the halfway point of the regular season and sporting an impressive 28-4 overall record with only one loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The team has won 23 of their last 24 including a streak of 22 straight that finally ended last Sunday during a doubleheader split at ACC rival Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

The Seminoles are ranked No. 8 in the nation by ESPN and No. 9 by the USA Today. Notre Dame is just one of the many interesting places the young freshman has traveled to this season, with the Noles playing as afar away as California.

Cali is enjoying not just the game of softball, but enjoying the time with her teammates and coaches as well.

Head coach Lonni Alameda, a very influential person in Cali’s life earned career win No. 500 in Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Jacksonville.

Alameda is in her eighth season at FSU and holds a 343-124 mark as the leader of the Seminole softball program. She has been named the ACC Coach of the Year in each of the last three seasons – 2013, 2014 and 2015 – and has won three ACC Championships.

Cali has a hard time deciding what is the best part of the new college softball experience instead saying that “literally everything” is amazing.

One thing for certain is that she loves all of her teammates and says they already feel like family. “FSU just feels like home,” says Harrod.

The extensive travel schedule of the team can make balancing schoolwork hard, but Cali uses a lot of that travel time for studying.

When asked to compare high school softball to college softball, Cali states, “It’s a faster game and you have to be smarter. It’s the same game I’ve always played, that hasn’t changed — just the way it’s played has in some ways.”

After a slow start at the plate, Cali has come on strong as of late raising her batting average dramatically over the past few weeks. She is batting .368 in conference play.

One of her most thrilling moments of the season and her softball career came in California on March 5 when she blasted her first career home run in a 17-3 win over UC Davis.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is Cali’s speed on the base paths. She has stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts. She also has a triple and four doubles to go along with her homer.

As a team, Florida State has become more aggressive on the base paths in 2016, tallying 76 stolen bases so far on the season – far surpassing the output from the entire 2015 season (52).

Over the last three years, the Noles have averaged under one SB per game (183 SB in 190 games – 0.96 per game), but are more than doubling that pace in 2016 with 76 stolen bases in the first 32 games (2.38 per game). The 2.38 stolen bases per game ranks ninth in the NCAA so far in 2016.

She has started all 32 games for the Noles, but still takes nothing for granted.

“I don’t know really if I’m gonna play or not each day. I mean nothing is guaranteed,” says Harrod. “You just have to continue to work hard every day.”

Heard County fans will have their best opportunity of the season to see Cali in action live on Wednesday, April 20 when they play at Auburn University. The No. 8 Noles will battle the No. Tigers in a doubleheader beginning at 5:00 PM EST/4:00 CT. The games will also be broadcast on the SEC Network.

The Noles host ACC foe North Carolina State this weekend in a three game series today through Sunday.

The ACC tournament takes place May 11-14 in Raleigh, NC and will be televised on ESPN.

Photos courtesy of Phil Kelley, Colin Abbey, and Florida State Seminoles Softball on Facebook.



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